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Sarkozy, Medvedev Appeal for Action to Fight Global Financial Crisis

French and Russian presidents are both appealing for more unified action to fight the financial crisis that continues to roil banks and stock markets around the world. The two leaders also held talks on the sidelines of an international forum in eastern France. Lisa Bryant has more for VOA from Paris.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev offered similar messages Wednesday: The world needs to work together to find new solutions to the worst financial crisis in decades.

Speaking at a joint news conference in the French city of Evian, Mr. Sarkozy outlined bold new ideas on how to do this.

Today, the French president said nobody could solve the financial crisis alone. International institutions must be adapted to today's needs, and a new form of multilateralism must be crafted. One step, Mr. Sarkozy said, was to invite emerging powers to join the U.N. Security Council and the G8 club of industrialized nations.

The two leaders spoke on the sidelines of an international seminar as stock markets around the world continued to plunge. The financial meltdown that began in the United States has migrated worldwide, including to Europe.

At Evian, Medvedev also announced Russia would complete the pullout of its forces from two breakaway Georgian regions by Thursday, in accordance with a European-mediated peace agreement with Moscow.

Medvedev also called for a new treaty on European security, unifying what he described as the euro-Atlantic zone. He said recent events in the Caucuses showed such a pact is needed. In August, Georgia and Russia briefly fought over the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia which - along with another Georgian area - has since unilaterally declared independence.